Q: How do you deal with wild cats?

Sooner or later, almost every pigeon flyer is bothered by a wild (feral) cat. I think I have a good positive solution.

When constructing your loft, the bottom should be skirted or enclosed. I prefer to use a chicken wire, then cover it with either a wood or plastic lattice. This gives the loft a nice neat appearance. This skirting should have an access door built on the side or back so you can get to the underside of the loft.

When the day arrives that you are bothered by a wild cat or feral cat, set a live trap -- one that would be recommended for a raccoon. It is very easy to catch a cat. Simply take a can of sardines, partially open the can, and place the sardines, can and all, into the trap. This is almost 100% effective. You will catch your wild cat unless a raccoon or opossum beats the cat to your trap.

You can then either call the local animal control officer to have him pick up the cat or in my area, you can take the cat to the local humane society. A third solution is for you to provide a nice sheltered home for this creature. You can release your wild snarling cat underneath your pigeon loft. Place a box under the loft for the cat to be able to sleep in and be sheltered from the wind. Cats seem to be easily bothered by cold, and like it warm. I suggest feeding the cat dry dog food and water, which is a very nutritious diet (but mice, rats, and chipmunks will be much more to their liking) -- and your cat is safely locked away.

You now have eliminated your pigeon killer AND also installed a rodent control, since another major problem that most pigeon lofts encounter is that of rodents. This is prevalent especially in some of the warmer climates where people use a grated floor concept, which is sometimes open to the ground. The pigeons will soon adjust to having a cat near to them.

If the cat gets tame, or you see no use for it anymore as a rodent control measure, put your live trap underneath the pigeon loft and recapture the cat -- and then take it to the humane society. It is only a matter of time before a new wild cat arrives on the scene and you will have a good use for it for a while again.

It is important to keep nature in balance. Song birds and baby rabbits will also be grateful if you trap feral cats.